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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through September 22, 2006 * Cider < Previous Next >

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Ned Buntline
Intermediate Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 259
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 71.248.243.103
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm going to try my hand at some cider this year. I've been going through "Cider" by Annie Proulx and Lew Nichols. One part of the narrative says that the initial ferment of the cider is very violent and needs to be performed in an open container. Is this what those of you who have made cider have experienced? I'm just wondering if I should go get some buckets and towels instead of putting the juice in 6.5 gallon carboys.

Also, how long does the fermentation process take? Is this something like beer where most of the fermentation is complete in 2-3 weeks, or is it more like mead and wine requiring a longer period?

Third, is temperature as critical as with beer? Does fermenting cider at higher temps lead to off-flavors?
 

David Woods
Advanced Member
Username: Beericon

Post Number: 801
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 4.186.147.18
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 11:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1) NO, but I use ale yeast. Plus I only make about 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket.

2) Initially same as beer, but I find it gets better with age like a mead. 9-12 months is great with the slight tartness still there. I also add sugar and frozen apple concentrate.

3) That would depend on the yeast. With ale yeast, ferment at ale temps. I used wine yeast once and it was so dry I got thirsty-er the more I drank!

Try this, make a beer - a brown or something - rack off to secondary then pour in 3 gallons of non-sulfate apple cider (the stuff I get is UV pasturized). I 4 days add 1 or 2 concentrate cans warmed in microwave. I about 4 more days rack to carboy. Bottle in about 1-2 months.

You can add raisins, cinnamon sticks, sugar, molassas, go crazy!

David
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1103
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.52.18
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My cider fermentations have not been terribly violent. About the same as for a beer of similar gravity, and very little krausen to clog up the airlock. 5 gal in a 6.5 gal carboy should be just fine.

Just watch your temps as you would for beer. Cider is probably more forgiving than most ales, but I wouldn't let it get above 75F. I seem to remember the P&N book talking about fermenting rather large quantities, like a barrel at a time, and for that you'd have to be more aggressive with temp control.

I primary my ciders "until done" which depends on the yeast (see below) but is usually a week or two. Then I secondary for about 3 months and drink before it has been in the bottle a year. The usual schedule is to get cider from the mill around Halloween, rack around Thanksgiving, bottle before St Patty's Day, drink it all spring and summer, finish the last bottle around Halloween, then complain constantly about the lack of cider in the house while the next batch ages.

For yeast, I've used Nottingham (1 week primary, boring, dry), Wyeast Cider yeast (2 week primary, much better, very dry), and the wild yeast on the apples (3 to 4 week primary, extremely flavorful, slightly Brett-y, marginally less dry). I can get unpasteurized juice from a local mill, so I can just let it go or sulfite it and use cultured yeast. If you can only get the pasteurized stuff, the Wyeast culture is an excellent choice.

Good luck!
"...bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges..." -- Graham Parker
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1104
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.52.18
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 02:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PS: The very, very best cider I've ever had, homebrew or commercial, was made by a clubmate, John Watson. He took a cider he'd made with Wyeast Cider yeast, the repitched it on the dregs of a framboise and left it there for 3 months. The result had a perfect apple/raspberry blend in both aroma and taste, just enough sour to make it quenching w/o making you pucker, and a lingering complexity you don't usually get with cider. Amazing.

So, like David says, go wild. Don't be afraid to experiment.
"...bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges..." -- Graham Parker
 

Ned Buntline
Intermediate Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 261
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 141.150.207.51
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 01:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, here's another question.

I'm looking at fermentation vessels. I looked at two barrels in the US Plastics catalog. One has an open head and the other is a closed head. Obviously the open head is better for cleaning, but the barrel couldn't be laid on its side (not rated for liquids). The closed head barrel has 2" and 3/4" access ports and can be laid on its side (nice for easy racking without siphoning).

So the question is: Does cider production leave behind the same tough crud that beer fermentation does? This would be the deciding factor in my purchase as it might be tough cleaning an opaque barrel through a 2" access port.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1106
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.52.18
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 04:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can't say that I remember it being particularly tough. Less of it than beer, too. Either way, a good soak with PBW oughta get rid of anything.
"...bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges..." -- Graham Parker
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4338
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The two times I have made cider, both batches have come out too dry for my tastes. However, I have an overly sweet cyser (OG 1.160, FG 1.060), that I blend a small amount with the cider to get a very nice beverage.

In fact, I am going to take some of this blended product, keg it, carbonate it, and take it ice fishing this year. Only ~3 months to ice fishing season! Is anyone else as excited as I am?
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1223
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 81.154.239.209
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is that the same Annie Proulx, the author, shipping news, brokeback mountain etc?
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1224
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 81.154.239.209
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just googled it, that's funny, I love her books and she wrote one on making cider!
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 5865
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 140.211.82.4
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use regular buckets or carboys for cider..ther fermentation isn't all that violent. After trying a lot of different yeasts, I've settled on WY4766 cider, with WY4184 sweet mead as a second choice. Ciders are much more like wine or mead than beer in terms of fermentation schedule. I give mine 1-2 months in primary, 3-6 months in secondary. They really benefit from a year or 2 of bottle aging, also.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 2001
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 141.232.1.1
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wasted time and money and two batches before I realized that cider really isn't my thing. I think I have a couple of bottles that are around 5 years old still sitting in the fridge.

-Doug
 

Ned Buntline
Intermediate Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 264
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 141.150.207.51
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 05:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

See Chumley? It's fun to wander.



 

Ned Buntline
Intermediate Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 265
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 141.150.207.51
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer wrote:

"Is that the same Annie Proulx, the author, shipping news, brokeback mountain etc?"

I was wondering why there would be a chapter on sheep herding and another on selecting chaps in a cider book.

(Message edited by Ned Buntline on September 18, 2006)
 

Ned Buntline
Intermediate Member
Username: Ned_buntline

Post Number: 266
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 141.150.207.51
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 06:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doug, what is it about the cider that you didn't find appealing?
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1225
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 81.154.239.209
Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 09:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ned, that's even funnier - definitely a theme in her writing then!
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 2002
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 141.232.1.1
Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ned,
While a lot of people have liked my ciders, I find them to have too much alcohol burn/flavor with not enough of anything else to balance them. Of course I not a big wine drinker either so maybe I just need a more complex flavor then cider offers.

-Doug